Morrissey vs. Phil Lynott is not as exciting as it sounds
03.24.2014
09:32 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Television

Tags:
Morrissey
Phil Lynott

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The individual components to this TV show promised more than was delivered. The fact Phil Lynott and Morrissey were part of the two teams taking part in this Pop Quiz, would whet any appetite, but sadly the result is as bland and anodyne as the show’s host, Mike Read.

You may have heard of Read before, he was the BBC Radio One DJ behind the banning of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s single “Relax.”

While treating his listeners to a performance of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s thumping dance single “Relax,” Read idly scanned the record sleeve and began to read the lyrics to the song, which had been steadily climbing the charts.

Then, mid-broadcast, he lifted the needle, denounced the content as “obscene” and refused to play it again. The rest of the BBC followed suit, banning the song, with its veiled reference to gay sex, from all TV and radio airplay, with the curious exception of the top 40 show.

Within a fortnight the song had rocketed to number one, where it nested for four weeks. (As if to rub the Beeb’s nose in it, a few months later “Relax” returned to the charts, reaching number two.)

“Relax” eventually reached Number One on 24th January, 1984, and was the beginning of an incredibly successful year for Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The ban made the BBC and especially Read look prissy, out-of-touch and utterly ridiculous. With this in mind, one has to question why the Beeb thought Mike Read a suitable host for their Saturday tea-time entertainment show Pop Quiz? As anything the poor man touched was automatically rendered vapid, bland and unrelentingly dull.

Poor Phil Lynott, who looks here like a doorman for some low-rent strip club, tries his best to jolly things along, but is given little to no help by his fellow team members, some hairdressing experiment from Kajagoogoo, and a dull Derek Forbes from Simple Minds.

Morrissey, meanwhile, is teamed-up with aging glam rocker, Alvin Stardust (yes, the fellow who crooned “My Coo Ca Choo”) and Kim Wilde of “Kids in America” (Whoa!) fame. At first Morrissey looks almost keen (answering his early questions correctly) before the full horror of the show dawns on him. As he later told The Face magazine:

Pop Quiz was unbearable. I realized it was a terrible mistake the moment the cameras began to roll. … I just squirmed through the programme. I went back to my dressing room afterwards and virtually felt like breaking down, it had been so pointless. I felt I’d been gagged.”

I’m not sure Morrissey was gagged, but it is fair to say both he and Lynott were certainly under some sort of neutralizing presence that seems to emanate from Mr. Read. The only colorful thing about him is his tasteless shirt that looks like something Walt Disney puked up.

Now you know what made for popular television in Britain back in 1984.
 

 
Part deux of le quiz de pop, apres le saut…

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Comedian Peter Serafinowicz sings the first page from Morrissey’s new book
10.17.2013
08:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books

Tags:
Morrissey
Peter Serafinowicz


 
For those of you haven’t had a chance to read or get your paws on Penguin Classics’ Morrissey’s Autobiography yet, here’s Peter Serafinowicz singing the first page for you.

Now if we can only get Peter to sing the whole damned book. You know, kinda like a rock opera meets “books on tape” type of thing.

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
A book by its covers: Alternative designs for Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography’
10.16.2013
02:56 pm

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Morrissey
Penguin Books

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Big Mouth’s autobiography is published tomorrow by (can you believe it?) Penguin Classics. This even before a word of it has been read or considered worthy of inclusion amongst such writers as Aristotle, Virgil, Plutarch, Jane Austen, Christopher Marlowe, Charles Dickens, etc, etc. Admittedly Penguin Classics also include Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Carson McCullers and Ross McDonald—but at least these authors had already been published, and earned their place to be included in the list by being “read by generation after generation.” I wonder if Morrissey’s Autobiography will be read by anyone ten years from now, let alone a hundred?

The Guardian newspaper recently asked readers to send in their alternative designs for the cover to Morrissey’s Autobiography, here are a selection of their favorites. View more here.
 
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Via The Guardian.

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
While you wait for Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography,’ here’s The Smiths live, 1984
09.20.2013
10:03 am

Topics:
Books
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
The Smiths

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The recent Internet rumor that Morrissey: Autobiography was no longer to be published by Penguin Books (allegedly due to a “content disagreement”) has been finally quashed by the publishers, who claim the eagerly anticipated memoir will be published in the coming weeks. This has also been confirmed by the Morrissey fan site, True To You, which posted the following:

“The publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography remains with Penguin Books. This is a deal for the UK and Europe, but Morrissey has no contract with a publisher for the US or any other territory. As of 13 September, Morrissey and Penguin (UK) remain determined to publish within the next few weeks.”

So, it looks like American Morrissey fans may have to wait for a US publisher to pick up the rights. With the interest shown in this memoir, that shouldn’t take long.

Meanwhile, the former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr, who released his debut solo album, The Messenger, in February of this year to overwhelmingly positive reviews, has been telling the press what he likes in music:

“...short, sharp, snappy songs with glamorous, sexy guitars and lyrics that sound like poetry that moves at the speed of light – that’s what rock or pop music should be about and it should come alive on the stage. Bands you can see and come away knowing they’ve put a lot into it. A lot of bands I saw when I was younger gave me that feeling of really wanting to be there. You feel like you’re having a unique experience with the band and they’re having a unique experience with you.

You’ll find a damn fine selection of short, sharp, snappy Smiths’ songs (all dressed up with poetry and guitars) on this classic edition of Rockpalast, from 1984. You’ll also note that the band repeat three of the set list as an encore—obviously they didn’t have enough songs back then—finishing on “Barbarism Begins At Home” which would feature on their 1985 album Meat is Murder.

Track listing

01. “Hand in Glove”
02. “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
03. “Girl Afraid”
04. “This Charming Man”
05. “Pretty Girls Make Graves”
06. “Still ill”
07. “Barbarism Begins At Home”
08. “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
09. “Miserable Lie”
10. “You’ve Got Everything Now”
11. “Handsome Devil”
12. “What Difference Does It Make”
13. “These Things Take Time”

Encore

14. “This Charming Man”
15. “Hand In Glove”
16. “Barbarism Begins At Home”

Johnny Marr tours the UK in October and the US October/November, details here.
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
What’s so HOT in Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography’ that caused Penguin to drop it?
09.13.2013
09:57 am

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Morrissey


 
It’s difficult to make sense of the news today that Penguin Books in the UK have dropped the publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography, which was supposed to be available for sale next Monday, but, hey, it’s easy to speculate…

Penguin claim that no review copies were printed, which seems quite odd to me as a former publisher, because lead times for magazines tend to be 90 days and the pre-retail marketing period leading up to a big book’s street date can take from six to nine months.

It’s being reported that “a last-minute content disagreement between Penguin Books and Morrissey has caused the venture to collapse.”

If it was “last minute,” there WOULD obviously have not only been review copies printed up, they’d have had tens of thousands of finished copies on hand for Monday, too.

Maybe it wasn’t so last minute, after all, but what’s the reason for it? When there’s a lot of money at stake, as there would be with something like this, usually the publisher will bend over backwards to accommodate a famous author.

Morrissey’s autobiography? That would sell like hotcakes the world over.

There has to be something hot in it. Morrissey has a long history of making controversial statements. I wonder what’s in it that caused Penguin to drop it? None of the reports mention WHY it was dropped. That’s got to be the interesting part…

Anyone got a digital copy?

UPDATE: The whole thing is an Internet hoax. It seems to have started on a Morrissey fan site and then got picked up at MOJO and Pitchfork. It seemed fishy with no Amazon listing. You can read more about this at The Atlantic Wire.

In happier news for Mozz fans, his new concert DVD, Morrissey 25: Live From Hollywood High shot at back in March, will be released on October 22. Here’s the trailer:
 

 
Via MOJO

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
This Charming Charlie: The Smiths meet the Peanuts gang
08.14.2013
11:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
The Smiths
Peanuts
Charlie Brown


 
Finally, a website after my own, cold, cold heart… This Charming Charlie.

The Tumblr is by San Francisco-based graphic designer Lauren LoPrete.
 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Nerdcore

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
The Smiths: The last documentary made before they split-up in 1987
07.20.2013
04:46 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
The Smiths
Johnny Marr


 
Originally made for The South Bank Show, this documentary on The Smiths was filmed just days before the band went their separate ways in 1987. It’s a fitting testament to one of the most talented and influential bands of the 1980s. The film contains interviews with Morrissey, Marr, and the other two, as well as assorted fans, John Peel, and rock journalist, Nick Kent, who declared The Smiths were “the first English pop group,” who would be as popular as The Beatles in ten-year’s time. He was right to a point. And even 26-years later, middle-aged fans sigh at the thought of The Smiths.

Me? I’m listening to Diana Ross.
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Morrissey hates The Sex Pistols
07.02.2013
08:39 am

Topics:
History
Punk

Tags:
Morrissey
Sex Pistols


 
It has been said that everyone who bought a copy of The Velvet Underground & Nico went on to start a band. The same has been said about the attendees of the legendary Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall on June 4, 1976, which included future members of Joy Division/New Order, The Fall, A Certain Ratio, Simply Red, Buzzcocks/Magazine, Tony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett.

One punter who was not impressed, a then 17-year-old Steve Morrissey, who let his feelings be known in a letter to the editor of the NME. What an insufferable, supercilious brat he must’ve been! Turning his nose up at The Sex Pistols???

There’s an entire book about this concert and the seismic cultural repercussions it caused in it its wake, I Swear I Was There: The Gig That Changed The World by David Nolan and a TV doc with eyewitness accounts of this infamous gig:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Ramones are Rubbish’: Morrissey’s thoughts on the Ramones, 1976

Morrissey’s snide record reviews: Moz dumps on Cyndi Lauper, The Psychedelic Furs and XTC, 1984

Via Boing Boing /Letters of Note

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Morrissey’s snide record reviews: Moz dumps on Cyndi Lauper, The Psychedelic Furs and XTC, 1984
06.28.2013
03:03 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
Smash Hits

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In 1984, Morrissey was invited by the editor of glossy pop mag Smash Hits to review the week’s singles. As was no doubt expected, Morrissey flashed his natural flair for writing pithy, caustic and highly amusing reviews: he dismissed Cyndi Lauper’s single as “grossly unmusical”; Status Quo as “unreviewable impertinence”; Tracey Ullman “hopeless”; and of Lionel Richie he wrote, “that people care for such things suggests an unholy amount of human misery.”

It’s a pity Morrissey didn’t continue with his career as a pithy pop reviewer.
 
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More reviews from Morrissey after the jump…
 
Via Us vs th3m
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Just Two Tickets: David Bowie with very special guest Morrissey
06.15.2013
05:19 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
David Bowie
Morrissey
Aberdeen

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There will be those who will see these two tickets as evidence of what could have been one of the greatest tours ever.

David Bowie
(with very special guest Morrissey)
Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre
29 Nov 1995
7.30pm
Standing
£22.50

And, of course, there will be those who won’t.

Morrissey was originally the “special” support on the European leg of Bowie’s Outside tour in 1995, but after Mozz failed to turn-up for this gig in Aberdeen, he was dropped and replaced by The Gyres, Echobelly and Placebo.

Stories vary as to what actually happened, but it would appear there is still some kind of bad feeling between the two.

Earlier this year, Bowie refused to grant Morrissey permission to use a photograph of the pair of them together on the re-issue of his single “The Last of the Famous International Playboys.”

According NME, Morrissey then “rickrolled” Bowie by replacing the “Thin White Duke” with 1980s’ pop star, Rick Astley.
 
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Updated June 16th—with thanks to David B Parkes
Via Nothing’s Changed and Bowie Songs Blog
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Charles Dickens does Morrissey

Charles Dickens
Uncanny, eh?

Children’s television can be absolutely unbearable if you’re not actually a child. Luckily, the smart shows know this and throw you a bone every once in a while.

The BBC’s Horrible Histories recently decided to teach the kiddies about the life of Charles Dickens with a decidedly Smiths-vibe, and it’s an eerily accurate impression. Despite his reputation for being a bit humorless, I hope Moz would get a kick out of this one—I mean, it’s totally funny, and it’s for the kids!
 

 
Via Slate

Written by Amber Frost | Discussion
The Smiths debut TV interview: Morrissey predicts the death of the music video in 1984
05.27.2013
06:22 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
The Smiths

Moz sunbathing
Who sunbathes in socks? Morrissey sunbathes in socks. He is immune to tanlines because his body rejects sunlight

Screaming over what sounds like a soundcheck in the background, Moz and his interviewer do their darndest to get through the spot without completely losing composure. He may have jumped the gun foretelling the end of music videos (and thank heavens, since they provided some truly wonderful examples of his weird dancing), but you have to admire that moody Mancunian’s trademark negativity!
 

 

 

 

Written by Amber Frost | Discussion
Siouxsie, Morrissey, John Lydon, Robert Smith and more get superhero makeovers


 
Brazilian designer Butcher Billy re-imagines Siouxsie Sioux, Mark Mothersbaugh, Ian Curtis, John Lydon, Morrissey, Robert Smith and Billy Idol as comic book superheroes. His series is called The Post-Punk / New Wave Super Friends.

Now only if there was a Mark E. Smith one. He’d probably have to be a supervillain, tho…
 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘The Enemy Within’: Morrissey on Thatcher and British state censorship


Morrissey art by Tattooed Boy
 
I don’t often agree with Morrissey, but with this very eloquent statement on the Viva Morrissey site he has summarily hit the nail on the head. Hard.

As I write this, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral is taking place in London, and the national media is still on a campaign to whitewash any dissent. I could go into a list of these censorial acts (BBC refusing to play “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead,” Big Ben silenced, etc) as well as explaining just why Thatcher is reviled by the British public, but Moz puts it much better than I could:

Surely How I Feel Is Not Nothing?

I have listened and I have seen a lack of truth that we had dared not believe existed in modern Britain. Margaret Thatcher has left the order of the world, and she is not to blame for the reports of her own death - reports so dangerously biased and full of intolerant menace that we now wonder how we can possibly believe anything that has ever been recorded in British history books.

The coverage by the British media of Thatcher’s death has been exclusively absorbed in Thatcher’s canonization to such a censorial degree that we suddenly see the modern British establishment as an uncivilized entity of delusion, giving the cold shoulder to truth, and offering indescribable disgust to anyone unimpressed by Thatcher. Even to contest Thatcher’s worth is termed “anarchist”, and this source of insanity - intolerant of debate, is spearheaded by the BBC reporting not on how things actually are on British streets, but on how they would prefer things to be. For those of us who survived despite Thatcherism, and who recall Thatcher as a living hell, The Daily Mail and The Guardian have a steadfast message for us: You are nothing. Our thoughts are further burdened by the taunting extravagance of Thatcher’s funeral; the ceremonial lavish, the military salute, stripping Thatcher’s victims of everything, and rubbing salt in wounds with teasing relish. It is all happening against us.

In thought, we have killed Thatcher off a million times, but now that we have the reality of her death, the Metropolitan Police have set up new laws against us, and within paragraphs of law, we are not allowed to register our feelings so that anyone might overhear them. Echoes of Libya? Echoes of any Middle Eastern patch whose troubles are thought too uncivilized for a democratic England where chivalrous respect is afforded to “freedom”, and where we are all servile to “democracy.” It is, of course, The Big Lie.

The fact that there will be such an enormous police presence at Thatcher’s funeral is evidence that her name is synonymous with trouble - a trouble she brought on herself. No one wished for it, or brought it to her, yet she created her subtle form of anarchy nonetheless. BBC News will scantily report on anti-Thatcher demonstrations as if those taking part aren’t real people. Lordly scorn is shown towards North Korea and Syria, and any distant country ruled by tyrannical means, yet the British government employs similar dictatorship tactics in order to protect their own arrogant interests.

There will be no search for true wisdom this week, as the BBC gleefully report how Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead “failed to reach number 1”, and they repeat the word “failed” four times within the brief report, and a shivering sovereign darkness clouds England - such identifications known only in China. There will be no report as to how “the British people have succeeded in downloading Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead to number 2”, and we are engulfed in Third Reich maneuvers as BBC Radio assume the role of sensible adult, finger-wagging at that naughty public who must not be allowed to hear the song that they have elected to number 2.

By banning Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (and only allowing four seconds of a song is, in fact, a ban) the BBC are effectively admitting that the witch in question can only possibly be Margaret Thatcher (and not Margaret Hamilton), even though Thatcher isn’t mentioned in the song, which is in fact a harmless, children’s song written over 70 years ago. Whilst the BBC tut-tut-tutted a polite disapproval at the Russian government for sending a “feminist punk” band to prison for recording an anti-government song, they engage in identical intolerance against Ding dong the witch is dead without a second’s hesitation.Thatcher’s funeral will be paid for by the public - who have not been asked if they object to paying, yet the public will be barred from attending.

...

When Cameron talks he is simply speaking his part, but he is adamant that the scorn Thatcher poured onto others should not be returned to her. Her mourning family must have considerations that were never shown to the families of the Hillsborough victims, and although Thatcher willingly played her part in the Hillsborough cover-up, let’s not go into all that now. Instead we’re asked to show respect for a Prime Minister whose own Cabinet were her rivals. Thatcher’s death gives added height to David Cameron (a Prime Minister who wasn’t actually voted in by the British people, yet there he is – reminding us all of our manners), and he does not understand how the best reason for doing something is because there’s nothing in it for you…

Can the BBC possibly interview someone with no careerist gain attached to their dribble? No. On the day that nine British citizens are arrested in Trafalgar Square for voicing their objections to the Baroness, the BBC News instead offer their opening platform to Carol Thatcher, a dumped non-star of I’m a celebrity get me out of here, and to Sir Mark Thatcher (Sir!), unseen since the disgrace of his involvement in selling arms to countries at odds with Britain.

Excellently put. You can read the full statement here, it’s worth it.

There’s a very odd public mood in the UK right now, something strange is in the air.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Everyone stop what you’re doing right now: Morrissey just rick-rolled us
03.06.2013
09:26 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Morrissey

Moz and Rick
 
And it’s been so long that it’s awesome again.

Morrissey’s re-release of his 1989 single, “The Last of the International Playboys,” was originally set to have a previously unreleased photo of Moz and David Bowie gracing the cover. Much to the chagrin of both Morrissey and myself, Bowie blocked the the use of the photo through legal Goblin King dance magic, leaving Moz to improvise.

What he used instead is only about a billion times awesomer—a picture of himself with Rick “Never Gonna’ Give You Up” Astley. Is Rick Astley a stand-up dude and a total sport, or what?

Obviously Morrissey had to know the pop culture implications of the picture. I wonder how long he lay in wait, patiently counting the days until nearly everyone forgot about that meme… waiting for the perfect rick-roll.

Mozzer’s the sleeper cell of rick-rolling!
 

 
Via Pitchfork

Written by Amber Frost | Discussion
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